How to Make Herbal Salves

Also known as “balm” or “ointment”, salves are not as easily absorbed by the skin and form a separate layer on top of the skin. Unlike the Creams and Lotions, there are typically only oils or fats in a salve, no water. There are several methods and recipes for making salves. Play around with them and have fun finding your families favorites!

Method 1
This method is good if you don’t already have your infused oil made up and ready.

Start by melting 500 g (17.5 ounces) of petroleum jelly, soft paraffin wax or beeswax in the top of your double boiler (or a glass bowl that sits nicely over a saucepan of boiling water).

Stir in 2 ounces (60 g) of dry herb and heat for about 2 hours (or until herbs are crisp).

Place a cheesecloth over a pitcher and pour your mixture through it. Squeeze the rest of the liquid through the cheesecloth (you may want to wear gloves for this as the liquid is quite hot).

Quickly pour the strained liquid into your sterilized storage jars (amber or blue glass is best) while it is still warm. You don’t want it to set in the pitcher. Once cooled, cover (screw on cap preferred) and label.

General Info

~ Double Boiler

~ Sterilized amber or blue glass jars (preferably wide mouth)

Method 1:

~ 500 g (17.5 ounces) petroleum jelly, soft paraffin wax or beeswax.

~ 60 g (2 ounces) dry herb


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~ Cheesecloth

Method 2:
~ 25 g (0.88 ounces) water-free lanolin

~25 g (0.88 ounces) grated beeswax

~ 3 oz (100 ml) infused oil

Method 2:
This method is good if you already have your infused oils ready to go.

In the top of your double boiler (or a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water) melt 25 g (almost 9/10 of an ounce) of grated beeswax with 25 g water-free lanolin. Stir until completely melted. At the same time, in another pan, warm 3 oz (100 ml) of infused oil.

Once the beeswax and lanolin are melted, add your infused oil to it and stir until everything is completely blended. You can also add a drop or two of essential oil if you’d like for fragrance.

Pour mixture into a sterilized glass jar and let cool. Once cooled, cover (screw on cap preferred) and label.

If you find that your mixtures are not quite as firm as you’d like, you can re-heat them adding a bit more beeswax. If they are too firm, reheat and add a bit more infused oil.

Do you have a favorite Salve Recipe? Share it here and try someone else’s favorite too!


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